14 Marketing Myths That Can Hurt You
... What They Are and What You Can Do About Them!
In this article, I am going to discuss some of the myths that
I am constantly dealing with -- and the realities behind them!
Knowing the reality is critical to your Internet marketing
health and success ... So read on!
First of all, we'll discuss the search engine myths:
Myth #1: All websites get listed in the search engines.
Reality: If you don't register with the search engines, you
will be lucky if you end up listed in one or two of them! Why?
Because the search engines send out spiders to search for and
index webpages. A spider may follow a link, find a page on
your site, and Voila! You're listed in that search engine!
However, unless you purposefully "announce" your webpages to
the search engines, don't count on this! Are you really going
to leave the success of your business to chance?
Myth #2: I've announced my webpages to 800 search engines ...
All I have to do is sit back and collect the money!
Reality: Even when you DO announce your webpages to the search
engines, do not count on anything. Why? It is because some of
them, like Yahoo (Yahoo is actually a directory), only index a
third of all sites submitted. For example, Yahoo won't even
look at your site unless you have your own domain -- and even
then, you have to jump through hoops to get listed.
Of the other 799 sites you submitted to, many of them are not
true search engines. With those that are, each has a different
algorithm (set of rules similar to a recipe) that it uses to
index your webpages. For example, one search engine may give
you a great top-10 position because of your excellent "meta
tags" and "description." A second one may totally discount
your "meta tags" and give you a rank of, say, 386 due to its
interpretation of your webpage "content" and your "titles."
To top this off, you need to be careful when deciding what
keywords people will use when searching for your product. For
example, say you are selling bathtub gizmos for kids, and
decide to use the phrase "bathtub gizmos" in your meta tags,
description, title and content. The problem you will have is
that no one searches using the phrase "bathtub gizmos"!
Myth #3: My high priced designer created a glitzy website!
I'll get great search engine positions because of this!
Reality: The search engines don't care! Your website could be
the most beautiful thing on earth -- right up there with the
Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel or the statue of David. And you
could have hired the hottest award winning designer available.
Your website could even have dancing graphics, streaming
audio, video, a thousand and one bright colors and so on. But
the bottom line is that the search engines don't care! The
search engines are concerned with:
So a perfectly hideous site can obtain a high search engine
ranking while the beauty next door is ranked at 2549! Now
don't get me wrong. People WILL see you site, and WILL be
influenced by how it looks, how it is laid out and how easy
(or hard) it is to navigate. Your overall site design IS
important ... Just not to the search engines!
- Structure (HTML coding)
- Content, content, content!
Myth #4: All I have to do is get my main (index) page listed
in the search engines. Once the visitors are there, I can lead
them through my sales process!
Reality: Visitors will arrive at your main gate, in which case
you CAN lead them through your sales process. However, they
will also arrive at every single other page on your site, so
be prepared! I know this might be a surprise to some of you.
How can this happen if you have registered only one page (your
main page) with the search engines? Let me explain ...
You register your main page. The search engines come looking
and they index it (or not). At the same time, or maybe weeks
later, they poke around the rest of your site. Maybe they see
a page they like and give it a higher ranking than your main
page. Maybe they just index that one. The bottom line is, you
now have search engine listings that provide direct links to
other pages on your site and not your front door.
You need to be prepared for this!
Say a visitor arrives at page 5 of your sales process. If you
don't give them an easy way back to your main sales message,
you'll probably lose them because your most compelling sales
material is on page one! You should have navigation tools as
well as your name, address and contact information on every
single page of your site. Make it easy for your visitors to
start on page one or to jump to your order form if they wish!
Myth #5: Since sex-related words are statistically in the
top-10 search words lists, all I have to do to get loads of
traffic is put "sex" in my "meta tags" and "titles."
Reality: There are probably a dozen reasons for not doing
this. Here are a few of the major ones. First, if people are
looking for "sex sites," do you really think they are going to
stop and buy your "kid rated" bathtub gizmos? Second, if you
are paying your ISP for traffic, you are going to be paying
for all sorts of *useless*, unqualified traffic.
Many of the search engines check "meta tags" and "titles"
against content for relevancy. If they see unrelated stuff,
they may determine that you are spamming them (also called
"spamdexing"). Not only will your page(s) never get listed,
your entire site could get put on their "spammers" list!
Many people have programs installed that filter out "sex" and
other unwanted sites for many reasons. You may have just done
yourself out of thousands of your best potential customers!
Myth #6: All the good domain names are gone, so why bother?
Reality: Yes, a lot of the good ones are gone. But people are
coming up with new ones all of the time! Now that you can get
67 character names, your chances have increased again. Don't
give up! As soon as you think of a great idea that has not
already been registered, grab it! Even if you don't intend to
use it right away, register it and park it because it could be
gone tomorrow. You can try http://NameBoy.com for suggestions!
Myth #7: I paid an "expert" submit my site to over 800 search
engines. Now, all I have to do is get ready for the traffic!
Reality: There are thousands of sites with search engines out
there. But only the top 10 will bring in significant amounts
of traffic. Unless you have optimized your site to get good
ratings with each of these search engines individually, you
probably won't get a top 10 or even top 50 ranking. You must
optimize your site for each of the top ranked search engines!
The following engines drive over 90% of all search engine
traffic. These are the ones you should be concentrating on:
If your site is not optimized for these search engines using
the proper keywords and key phrases, and if your webpages are
not content rich, it won't matter if you are registered with a
thousand search engines! You will be better off if you take
the time to maximize your ranking in the top 10 search engines
-- this is where the majority of your traffic will come from!
Myth #8: Once I get a top 10 ranking with a search engine my
work is done!
Reality: People are going to try and outdo you every single
day! There are well over 150,000 new domains registered each
and every month! Many of them want YOUR top 10 position -- and
as soon as they get it (which eventually, they will), you will
find your listing sliding further and further down the list.
In addition to the competition, search engines are regularly
changing their algorithms. So when they send their spiders to
reevaluate your site, you may receive a much lower ranking.
The reality is that your search engine work is never done. You
have to keep checking your position -- and when you slip, do
something about it! If you do get a top 10 position, don't
fiddle with it. Don't resubmit this keyword in an attempt to
get an even higher listing. If the engine's algorithms have
changed you could end up being bumped down the list instead!
Myth #9: There are dozens of "dirty tricks" I can use to fool
the search engines. I'm smarter than any "machine!"
Reality: Think again. If you know about the trick, chances
are, the people who program the search engines probably do
too! There are real people behind the "machines" and they get
pretty annoyed when people try to trick them. If they catch
you, they may prevent your site from ever getting listed.
Here are some of the tricks that some search engines will
penalize you for:
You might get away with one or all of these tricks with some
of the search engines, but not all. And if you're ever caught,
your IP address (and not just your domain name) gets banned
for life! Do you really want to take a chance like that?
- Key word stuffing. If one keyword, say "marketing," will
get noticed, then repeating the word "marketing" over and
over will get you a good listing, right? NOT so! In fact,
it will probably get you on the "hit" list!
- Hidden text. You can hide text by using color or size
(making the font the same color as the background or
hiding text in small, 1 pixel by 1 pixel tables). While
invisible to the human eye, some search engines see it.
- Non-related key words. We've already discussed using the
word "sex." But some people also use competitors names or
product names as keywords. In addition to being frowned
upon by the search engines, you could get sued for it.
Playboy is getting so much money from its lawsuits that
it could be consider another source of income!
- Redirects. The trick here is to have the search engine
rank a webpage (or a website) by loading it with keywords
and content, but when a visitor comes looking they get
directed to a different site. Algorithms recognize this.
- Content switching. It's the old "bait-and-switch" trick.
You build the perfectly optimized page, let search engine
spiders visit it and then substitute the "real" stuff.
Myth #10: Participating in email discussion groups, forums and
bulletin boards is a great way to build traffic.
Reality: Of course, when you are first starting out you will
want to actively participate in these arenas in order to not
only start building traffic but also network with your peers.
However, doing this correctly takes time and patience. Once
you start to generate traffic, you need to be careful how much
time you spend doing this -- there are other, more important
marketing techniques that will need your attention!
Participating in some of the better discussion groups is
useful, since you can get valuable information and help. And
if you help others with their questions or problems, you can
build a good reputation. You may also locate people or sites
to joint venture with in a variety of ways. Don't discount
this method of marketing, but don't spend a lot of time here
either. Your time is precious, so be careful not to waste it!
If you get a reasonable amount of traffic from this marketing
method, consider hiring someone to do this for you on a part-
time basis. Instruct them as to what they should be watching
for and how they should promote you and your company.
You should also be aware that getting your name and email
address listed in these arenas will result in a considerable
amount of spam from people who harvest addresses for the
purpose of either sending bulk email or selling them. Sorting
through junk mail will be an additional drain on your time.
Myth #11: People use search engines because it is the only way
to find information on the Internet.
Reality: Maybe! Yahoo is one of the most popular search sites,
but even Yahoo only indexes a very small segment of what's
really available on the Internet. Some surfers may try one or
two search engines, or they might use a meta search engine
such as Ask Jeeves -- at http://www.ask.com/ -- or WebFerret
-- at http://www.ferretsoft.com/netferret/. For those of you
who are unfamiliar with meta search engines, they are used to
compile results produced by numerous search engines (5 or
more, such AltaVista, HotBot, LookSmart, etc.)
If you've been using the search engines lately, how relevant
are the results that YOU are getting? Some people resort to
using specialty search engines (in other words, search engines
that specialize in specific topics such as pets or animals).
They do so since many have given up on search engines entirely
because of the irrelevant search results they get.
So the reality is that search engines are ONE way surfers find
information on the Internet. But search engines are not the
only way! For example, more people than you may realize are
linking between sites based on recommendations!
Myth #12: Most website traffic comes from the search engines.
Reality: This is simply not true! A very small amount of
Marketing Challenge's traffic comes from the search engines.
The majority of our traffic comes from linking strategies,
strategic alliances, ad campaigns (banners, text links,
buttons, sponsorships, autoresponders, etc) and affiliates.
Now, I won't dispute that SOME sites do get the majority of
their traffic from search engines. But in order to do so they
have become search engines experts and spend huge amounts of
time (and money) ensuring their top positions in the search
engines lists. Don't get me wrong here -- I am not saying that
you shouldn't bother with search engines. They are critical
when you first start out! However, as you get bigger and
expand, your traffic will come from many different areas.
The reality is that good keyword and key phrase positions in
the search engines will undoubtedly bring in traffic to your
site. But remember, do not count on the search engines being
free forever! Goto and RocketLinks have already begun charging
while others are "requesting" that you advertise in order to
maintain a high listing for top keywords.
What you need to do is balance your expenditure of money and
time. You need to get the most amount of traffic you can from
the search engines with the least amount of time spent at this
never-ending job. At Marketing Challenge for example, we use
two kinds of software to achieve this: Web Position to figure
out where we are ranked in the major search engines and Site
Promoter to submit our keywords to the top 150 engines.
To find our more about Web Position go to
To learn more about Site Promoter go to
Myth #13: I have great meta tags ... Therefore, I'll get
really high rankings because of them.
Reality: Some search engines do not recognize meta tags at
all! While you do need meta tags for the search engines that
DO recognize them, search engine algorithms take all sorts of
other information into account when ranking your webpages.
Each search engine is different. You need to pay attention to
the specifics of each one, and optimize your site for them
all. This is why I recommend Web Position and Site Promoter.
They will pay for themselves many times over because of the
time they will save you and the rank they help you achieve.
Myth #14: If I put all of my advertising dollars into a banner
ad campaign, traffic will flood in!
Reality: When was the last time YOU clicked on a banner? In
truth, most banners receive less than a 0.5% response. Unless
you generate a great response to your banners (we have banners
with a 9% clickthrough), AND you have a good visitor-to-sale
conversion ratio, banner advertising can be very costly.
For example, say you buy 100,000 banner impressions at $20 CPM
(cost per thousand), costing you $2000. If you get a mere 1%
clickthrough, you'll only get 1000 visitors. Now, what is your
visitor-to-sale conversion ratio? If it's 2%, you'll convert
20 visitors into buyers. Each sale has therefore cost you
$100.00! If you are selling a $1000 product or service, you
might consider this to be an acceptable cost, maybe a bargain!
However, if your product sells for $39.95 you've just lost a
nice little bundle of money on your front-end sale.
The problem with paying for impressions is that, unless you
have a fantastic clickthrough rate, you are really taking a
chance with your advertising budget. A better way is to pay
per clickthrough. If you know your visitor-to-sale conversion
ratio, and if you have very targeted banner ads, you can
actually gain control of your advertising results.
Where can you purchase pay-per-click banners? We do business
with PennyWeb at http://marketingchallenge.com/pennyweb.html
-- they are really great people to work with.
The trick with paying for clickthroughs is to have banner ads
that are very specific and highly targeted. You don't want to
be paying for the tire kickers -- only for people who are
going to be really interested in your offer!
Those are a few of the most common marketing misconceptions I
run across on a regular basis. Marketing your website and your
online business should never be an all-or-nothing proposition!
Don't count on all of your traffic coming from search engines,
or from a banner ad campaigns for that matter, or even from
hours spent promoting yourself in the discussion groups.
When you are starting out, you need to spread your marketing
efforts over a wide range of techniques. Get your website
listed with the search engines, get your name into some high
profile discussion groups, experiment with banner ads, test
classified ads, develop an ezine, joint venture, work out a
link exchange campaign, start an affiliate program, send out
press releases on and offline, write articles, barter, etc!
And don't forget to track everything. Once your results come
in, you will be able to figure out where to focus the majority
of your efforts -- but never stop testing and never stop
experimenting with new ways to bring traffic to your site!
----------- Condensed from the IMC Private Website -----------
Why reinvent the wheel -- wasting time, effort and money going
at it alone -- when a bunch of highly successful webmasters
and Internet marketers have SPILLED THE BEANS at a new Private
Website? Learn our secrets and especially from our mistakes,
and you'll have more time to actually grow your business!
Click for INSTANT access: www.MarketingChallenge.com/
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